tv 2020 ABC June 22, 2018 10:01pm-11:00pm PDT
classic scenarios. or voice your opinion on facebook and twitter. i'm john quinones. "20/20" starts right now. >> i begged her for an ounce of her strength. >> tonight an all new "20/20." unbreakable bond between mother and daughter. someone came between them. >> he was just mom's dead. he kept repeats mom's dead. >> i ran downstairs. i was hysterical. >> he was found laying right here. >> i said you can go right over there. that's person who killedy mom. >> who was she pointing at? >> this is a delicate question. whether somebody she was having an affair with could have killed her. >> sure. >> he started thinking of ways to get rid of her. >> tonight a daughter's secrets and scandal leading to a
dramaticshowdown. >> kim was digging and digging. >> her six-year crusade to catch the killer. >> we're talking murder. >> "20/20" going into a dangerous under world no one could have imagined. >> drugs and a lot of money. >> before this hour is over there will be another shocking death. is that the end of the story? >> this is my life. i feel like this is the worst made for tv movie on the planet. >> good evening i'm amy robach. >> i'm david muir and this is "20/20." here tonight deborah roberts. >> reporter: driving the corridor between atlantic city and philadelphia weekdays between the hours of 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. you may have heard this voice on wibg fm.
>> if you don't vote, i will come find you at your house and drag you outside. >> reporter: that's the non-nonsense april kauffman, a peppery and provocative radio host. >> i love being here to bring you the truth. as unvarnished and unpretty buttered on the biscuit it is. >> reporter: tackling topics from politics to caring for u.s. vets. >> homelessness is a big issue right now for our ve >> reporter: listeners couldn't get enough of the jersey girl with the platinum hair, big smile and high wattage personality. >> she was like, a whirlwind. she would come in and she would make a lasting impression on everyone. in her upscale town of linwood new jersey, not far from the boardwalk, april and husband, dr. jim kauffman, a prominent endocrinologist are the community's consumate power couple. >> the two of them were well known individually as well as together. they really wanted to be involved in the community, but they also liked to have some fun.
>> reporter: every day, the doctor and mrs. kauffman had a familiar routine, jim heading to his medical practice before sunrise and then a standing phone call with april at 8:30 a.m. but on thursday may 10, 2012 that call to april goes unanswered. and after several failed attempts dr. kauffman sends over his handyman to their home on woodstock drive where he discovers a horror. >> 911. what's your emergency? >> yes, i'm at my boss' house. she's lying on the floor of her bedroom and she's not answering me. >> okay, where are you, sir? >> 2 woodstock drive, linwood. >> okay, hold on i'm transferring you. >> reporter: 47-year-old april kauffman found lying dead on the
floor of her bedroom. with the family handyman on with 911, jim calls linwood police. >> yeah, this is dr. kauffman. i just got called by my house person that my wife is face down on the floor. >> my partner's sending out the ambulance as we speak. >> i'm getting there as fast as i can. >> reporter: detective james scoppa took me inside the home where the wealthy socialite who once larger than life was discovered shot multiple times. >> she was -- was found laying right here. face down? >> face down. >> as the media got there, and they started to realize who it was, that's when they knew, okay, this is, this is really a story. it was, it was chaos. it was, it was chaos. >> reporter: as the steady whirl of helicopter blades began swarming the sky jim kauffman makes another phone call. this one to step-daughter, kim pack. >> i answer the phone and i say, "hello," and he's like, "kimberly." and i said, "yes." he's like, "mom's dead." he just kept repeating, "mom's dead. mom's dead.
mom's dead. mom's dead," over and over. as i got to the front door, there was a police officer that put his hands out and i pushed his hands away, and i go, "where's my mom? where's my mom?" i said, "what is happening here? i need to see my mother." he said, we think this is a potential homicide. >> no one could imagine who would have shot april kauffman beautiful, blonde, glamorous. and she was fun. no one had any idea what was going on behind those closed doors. >> she made everybody feel like they were her best friend. didn't matter who they were, at the checkout, the parking lot cart guy, "hey beautiful, hey handsome, how you doing today?" >> reporter: friends peg o'boyle and lee darby knew april since she was a teenager. and knew her well enough to know that her outward glow masked an inner pain.
>> she had a really rough childhood. >> when april was 11, her mother gave her brothers and sister up for adoption and april was raised by her grandmother and her brothers and sisters were put into foster care. >> she had a thirst for feeling loved she just wanted to be loved. >> reporter: she would discover unconditional love at 17 when she gave birth to kim with her first husband. >> she was an incredible mom. she seemed to just instinctively know what to do. >> she always spoke to kimberly like a little adult. we used to call her agnes beeswax. she was this little old soul, and april just wanted the best for her and gave her the best that she possibly could as a -- she worked hard. >> april dropped out of school when she became pregnant.
she got her g.e.d. she clawed her way back. she opened a salon, a catering business, a café. she became a local dj, a charity worker. >> reporter: but while april worked hard she played hard, too. >> she liked motorcycles and fast cars? >> she did. she did. when she got her first motorcycle, she said, "i'll give you $300 to get on the back of my motorcycle," and i was like, "no way. my feet are on the ground." and she would be like, "all right, $500." and i'm like, "no, not getting on the back of your motorcycle." just the need for speed and wasn't afraid. >> reporter: after two failed marriages, she meets dr. jim kauffman, friends and family say the wild child finally had found her match. >> he drives a harley, he's smoking cigars, he's a green beret in the military. a doctor. >> reporter: in fact this caricature sketch for jim's 60th birthday seems to sum up the couple's life, there's april, the buxom jersey girl
lover shadowed by her larger-than-life new husband who's prominently depicted with a gun, a big cigar, and something else military tattoos. >> he had purple hearts. he had medals, sharpshooter medals that he had gotten from being in the war. ♪ war what is it good for ♪ absolutely nothing >> reporter: the vietnam war. back when protest songs permeated the radio airwaves in the u.s., jim kauffman makes clear he distinguished himself on the battlefield. >> reporter: kim was so impressed she asked her step-dad to be the subject of a college project. he agreed to be interviewed, but with some conditions. >> there were two rules to this interview. one, you can never ask my mother about anything pertaining to this interview. and two, you have to destroy the tape when you're finished. >> that's a little mysterious. >> reporter: yeah, but i just thought, out of respect, this is what he's asking.
he talks about how the viet cong had ambushed his camp, stabbed him but also stabbed and left all of his comrades, and left them for dead and his sole mission was to bring these dog tags to their families so they knew what happened to netheir boys. >> that's an amazing story. >> yes. >> reporter: it's no wonder april was motivated to mount a campaign -- using her radio voice to demand quality healthcare for veterans. >> this was such a big issue that affected our veterans and our state, our country. so i will thank my husband for a lot of the things that i've learned over the years. >> april felt that veterans should be treated like rock stars. >> reporter: so how did this fierce and loved advocate for casualties of war become a casualty herself? kim has an idea and approaches investigators with a shocking declaration. >> i made my way out into the
cul-de-sac, i look up in the air and there's all these news choppers flying up above. and i said, "well, you can go right over there, because that's the person that killed my mom." >> reporter: stay with us. . and we found others just like us. and just like that we felt a little less alone. but then something happened. we had to deal with spam, fake news, and data misuse. that's going to change. from now on, facebook will do more to keep you safe and protect your privacy. because when this place does what it was built for, then we all get a little closer. why settle for just clean when it could be finished? when clean just isn't clean enough there's finished. new finish quantum's three chamber technology combines to scrub, degrease, and shine. switch to all new finish quantum. it's good to see you! (vo) look familiar?
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those who've had a drug or alcohol problem may be more likely to misuse lyrica. with less pain i can do more. ask your doctor about lyrica. if you're elligble, you could pay as little as $25 a month. >> reporter: many attended today's funeral services at beth el synagogue in margate for 47-year april kaufman. mother's day 2012 -- the town of linwood turns out for one of its own. complete with a cortege of veterans leading their champion, april kaufman to her final resting place. >> the well known radio host was shot multiple times and discovered dead in her linwood
home last thursday. >> it was like a state procession for april kaufman. the outpouring of community was overwhelming. no one could believe what had happened. >> she was so caring so compassionate, she was just an inspiration to everybody. >> reporter: the loss, the heaviest for her daughter, kim. >> i miss her so, so much. i miss her calling me nonstop all the time, i miss her laugh. i miss her smile. i miss her infinite wisdom. she really was my rock. >> reporter: after the morning came the talk is cheap even in wealthy towns. >> this is a delicate question, but there were questions about whether your mom was having affairs. >> sure. you know, they had a very unhealthy relationship, the both of them and i will just say that there were indiscretions on both sides of the fence, and i'll leave it at that. >> did it concern you that maybe somebody that she had been involved with could of killed her? >> no. but i certainly provided those people's names to the police and
i allowed them to do their due diligence. >> reporter: while the community was in shock and awash in rumor and innuendo listen to this april's final radio broadcast where april herself sounds like a woman with who thinks her days numbered. >> and my bottom line is that if nothing else of my legacy of leaving you know a really beautiful daughter and two grandchildren on this planet i really hope to god that people you know, hey, i could get a fly-over at my funeral. >> you listen back to that and you think, "did she have a premonition?" it's kind of eerie. it's kind of like she was trying to tell us something, i believe in those early days after april's death there's one thing gnawing at her daughter kim. one person she's curiously not
getting consolation from? >> james kaufman was a very well-respected and well-regarded member of this community. but to kim, stepfather jim, was a very different person and she saw a controlling side to him, a cold side -- >> he was very cold to me, >> just look at the body language in this video taken on kim's wedding day. >> take a close look. you see april kaufman touching her daughter. he comes in. he steps into the scene. he smiles one time for the camera to flash. then he goes back to a very taciturn demeanor and steps out. no hugging, no kissing, no warmth, nothing. >> you would be in the dining room, i would be talking to my mom and he would come and turn the lights off, and just walk out of the room. >> he controlled her cash flow and how much money she could spend? >> oh, yes. and sometimes even calling her. "who are you with? where you are?" >> reporter: and just two months before april's murder, it seems the bloom was officially off the rose of her 10-year marriage. kim recalling a lunch with her mother, who confides she's had enough.
>> we talked about that she needed aligning herself and get into a spot to be able to leave. i think he made it clear to her she wasn't going to divorce him and take part of his empire. that was his favorite words. >> did you get any feeling that your mom might have been in any kind of danger? >> i think she had made it clear over the years that he had threatened to kill her several times, but would always follow up with, "he doesn't have the guts to do it." >> reporter: although jim is not named a suspect, some would say he begins acting like one. >> within days of april's body being found, jim hires a lawyer. >> not only a lawyer, but the lawyer. a mob lawyer, his name is ed jacobs. >> one of the biggest legal names in atlantic county. he's even defended bill cosby on one of his sex assault accusations. >> he loves defending high profile criminal cases.
his walls in his office are covered with news clips of himself. >> reporter: one possible reason he's not named a suspect. he's got an airtight alibi. that's him entering a local convenience store around the same time his wife is being gunned down. >> reporter: authorities are not releasing details. it appears kauffman's shooting death is not random. >> i meet him in a restaurant, and he says to me "let me tell you something. i have a very good attorney, and i've been advised to not speak to anybody about this." he's like "you might need to really start to realize that this is never going to be solved." i said "well i'm not going to realize that." i said "because i will never stop finding out." i walked away and i never spoke reporver again. shoulder icier than jim's is the one she's getting from then atlantic county prosecutor jim mcclain. >> i had several meetings with him and he would just say it was active and open and not really say much more. >> did you get the impression that he was determined to get to the bottom of this?
>> no. >> reporter: then on the one-year anniversary of april's murder, many turn out for a candlelight vigil including so many vets she'd made her cause. noticeably absent? dr. gym -- jim kauffman. he marks the anniversary another way. >> we discovered that he was getting ready to auction off all of april's belongings and hadn't given anything to kim. >> how crushing was that for you? >> beyond. the things that i asked for that belonged to my mother were family heirlooms or possibly disney coffee mugs. >> reporter: with her mother and all those mementos lost, kim tries to adjust to a new normal while raising her two young sons and holding down a job as a pharmaceutical sales rep. >> marching through every single day, waking up with another day of hopelessness while trying to keep that glimmer of hope alive is a very tricky thing to do. >> reporter: yet while life for kim seems hopelessly on pause for jim it's full speed ahead.
just fifteen months after his wife's murder, he ties the knot again. >> he remarries. carol weintraub. when did that start? now, the version we've got is that they started dating right after april was found murdered. now, that's some romance. >> april's friends and family were devastated. they felt like it was a slap in the face. but the people who support jim kaufman say, "you know, he's a widow, and he's moving on with his life." >> reporter: but dr. kauffman's next move sets off a chain of events that pushes kim out of limbo. >> he went after my mom's life insurance policy. >> and your reaction? >> no way. because you know what? this is my only attempt to maybe be able to get some answers and the truth maybe would start to n to lawyer up. believing jim is the killer,
she files a wrongful death suit against her stepdad calling him the killer to keep him from getting her mom's $600,000 thousand dollar life insurance policy. >> i have no choice to respond and to begin to fight for what i know is right. >> the most significant kind of civil lawsuit you can have is a wrongful death case. >> reporter: coming up a daughter, undaunted and the dynamic duo attorneys she hires begin digging into the case. and what they say they uncover is shocking. >> we were talking to people that were critical witnesses to us that had not spoken to the prosecutor's office. >> reporter: and their chance to grill the grieving, good doctor. >> he was under oath in a civil deposition. they could ask him anything. >> reporter: next. bring history back to life. to recreate historical sites, stitch huredsf piuresne by one.i,tes, we are able to stitch hundreds of thousands of pictures in one night. i need to make it possible,
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>> reporter: atlantic city legendary for its slots, signature shows, and of course this moment. ♪ miss america >> reporter: but the boom and bust of the casino industry has made america's favorite playground a hotbed for crime, corruption and a startling number of unsolved cases. cases like april kauffman's but kim pack and her dogged attorneys patrick and andrew darcy drilled down determined to get answers. >> behind the scenes kim with us was nonstop digging.
digging for answers, getting proof, we were on an island, all on our own. >> reporter: but the tide may be turning. >> i grew up on the beaches and the boardwalk of atlantic city and i always had sand in my shoes. >> reporter: meet damon tyner, son of one of atlantic city's fabled firefighters and a longtime cop. >> your dad was a bit of a legend? >> yeah, he was, was very well known throughout the community. >> reporter: but the younger tyner made a name for himself as a superior court judge. >> good to see you. how you making out? so they named a pizza for me. >> i think right here? >> yep, that would be me. >> reporter: and then last year. became the first black prosecutor in the county's history. >> so help me god. >> reporter: many seeing him as the city's much needed savior. >> you're doing a great job man. great job. >> i appreciate it. thanks a lot. >> thank you. >> how are you doing, you alright? >> not judge anymore. >> good to see you. >> that man is cleaning up a.c.
>> there you go. >> you took a pledge when you took the office. tell me about the pledge. >> dating back to 1970, there are about 140 unsolved homicides and i urged my executive staff to tell me which cases were most solvable. unanimously they all came back to me and said the murder of april kauffman. >> reporter: but tyner is sworn in almost five years after april kauffman's murder, five long years. >> a lot of people wondered why five years passed and no recognizable work, had been done. >> it wasn't that there were glaring mistakes, it was just an omission of effort, you might say. >> reporter: we wondered about that and tried asking former prosecutor jim mcclain about the investigation. his spokesperson tells "20/20" that mcclain has no comment. >> fortunately damon tyner became prosecutor and his team, came to the conclusion that this case should be prosecuted. >> reporter: patrick for the first time, someone's, someone's listening here. tyner agreed to meet kim pack and her lawyers within that first month. >> what did that mean to you? >> the fact that i was lucky enough for him to say "i'm going to take a second look at this." me? my case?
thank you. like this is all i've been asking for this entire time is for someone to care. >> reporter: it took three hours for kim's lawyers to unpack all they had uncovered. >> you should take a look at these records. r: evidence as compelling or illuminating as this. >> today's july >> reporter: a four and a half hour long video deposition of dr jim kauffman himself finally talking for that wrongful death lawsuit kim has filed. >> basically i ask the questions you give the answers, understood? >> yes. >> they now have this incredibly valuable piece of evidence four and a half hours under oath is a lot of time. it's a lot of questions. >> i do. >> reporter: there he is in the hot seat for the very first time
getting grilled on everything from his love of guns. >> how many guns do you own? >> approximately 18. >> reporter: to the moment he first saw his wife lying lifeless on the floor. >> i ran upstairs, i looked inside and unfortunately saw april lying there and she wasn't moving and she had a palor which i've known after 30 years is obviously someone is passed away and i ran downstairs and went out on the lawn and was hysterical and started vomiting. >> do you have any tissues by the way? >> i got them. >> do you need a break? >> no. >> when i look at a deposition, i sometimes turn the sound down. i don't want to hear what they're saying. i want to see what they look like, and what their facial expressions are. he struck me as a manipulative guy. >> reporter: but there's a barrel-sized bombshell about to drop. the doctor's casual and stunning admission about a secret he's been keeping for years. seems that time he spent in the
special forces weren't so special. >> have you ever served in any branch of the military? >> no. >> reporter: that's right. dr kauffman's forced to come clean about his so-called stellar military record. those purple hearts? those sharpshooter medals? all lies. >> did you ever tell kim pack you were in the military? >> yes. >> did you ever -- did she ever do a project for college and part of the project was you being in the military? >> yes. >> and what you went through? >> yes. >> and that you carried bodies? >> yes. >> and the torture you had gone through? >> yes. >> did you ever tell anyone you were a green beret? >> yes. >> who did you tell? >> i don't recall how many people i told. >> so he created this background that didn't even really exist. >> that is correct. once you start examining someone who is bold enough to engage in stolen valor, you start realizing that there are other aspects to this man's life that would require us to investigate. >> reporter: but in that
deposition kauffman posits his own theories about who may have killed his wife. >> who do you think did it? >> i thought it could be someone who was one of the veterans. >> reporter: the last choice was that it was someone in a motorcycle gang. >> what motorcycle gang? >> the pagans. >> reporter: the pagan motorcycle gang? remember april had a penchant for motorcycles could that mean she was in deep with the kind of people known for violent behavior? >> the pagan outlaws are the theyre felons of the repteinup i ror leadi to a anffn e gard s. >> drop the gun. >> no, i'm not going to jail for this.
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>> reporter: we're on the beat with james scoppa. lead detective, determined to crack a big case for atlantic city's new prosecutor. >> i was happy when prosecutor tyner came in and he allowed us to work on the case and investigate it like we believed it should be. meanwhile kim and her attorneys keep their eye on what they believe is the prize -- jim kauffman. using his pictures on social media as incentive. >> i would get a picture of jim kauffman and carole at the final
four. you know, smiling. i'd put it on my brother's screen. so that when he came in in the morning, that would be the first thing he'd see, jim kauffman and carole. saying, "yeah, so what? i killed her. what are you gonna do about it?" >> reporter: but there's an unexpected canary in kauffman's coal mine. its coming in the form of a tip from the fbi. the feds believe kauffman may be involved in another unrelated crime. >> lo and behold, another investigation related to insurance fraud. his role as a doctor, comes up so investigators get a warrant to search his office. >> so they show up at kauffman's clinic just to look at his reports. >> on june 13, 2017 we attempted to serve a search warrant at dr. kauffman's office. >> reporter: within minutes it becomes clear that this will not be a routine visit. >> you stay right here for me.
>> no. no. >> what does he do instead of ushering them in as most of us would with the feds? no. he grabs a 9 mm. ruger. >> reporter: a police body camera's captures it all you can see and hear him. >> "5-11, i have one at gun point dr james kauffman, he has a weapon. drop the gun! drop the gun." >> reporter: for 45 minutes there's a heart-pounding stand off with police. >> drop your gun. >> reporter: at one point dr. kauffman threatening to take his life. >> i'm going to kill myself. >> it sure seems like jim thinks they're there in connection with april's murder. >> let's talk. >> i'm not going to jail for this. >> we have movement. >> reporter: finally, a hostage negotiator gets the disgraced doctor to surrender. >> please step out to the curb. now slowly reach down and pull your shirt up. keep walking backwards. >> watch the building to make
sure no one else is inside. >> this video changes everything. >> reporter: the husband of a murdered south jersey radio host and advocate is behind bars following an early morning stand off. >> reporter: investigators say that same day they seized more weapons from kauffman and at least $100,000 in cash. >> that was a game changer. >> after the standoff with jim kauffman, he goes to jail. not for murder, but for weapons charges. he fights to try to get out and the judge would not let him out based on his conduct and that gives the new prosecutor, tyner, a chance to really dig into the murder case. >> reporter: starting with the crime scene. >> so this is the house. >> reporter: but the biggest break in the case doesn't come from inside this house at all. >> we knew dr. kauffman, that there was a point in time that he was inquiring about having her killed. >> how did you find that out?
>> we were able to get a witness to cooperate with us this past november. that broke the case. >> reporter: who was that witness? a former member of the pagans motorcycle club. remember them? they're the ones dr. kaufman had pointed the finger at in his deposition. >> what motorcycle gang? >> the pagans. >> reporter: but now, the tables have turned. one of those pagans ratting out kauffman and not just for murder. >> good afternoon everyone. >> reporter: at a press conference tyner lays out the case of an elaborate and secret double life that jim kauffman was leading. treating patients by day and
writing fraudulent opioid prescriptions for those pagans by night. >> they would come in and be patients, and all of a sudden, you had a prominent endocrinologist that was prescribing opioids and all kinds of other pain killers, when that wasn't quite his practice. >> reporter: so he's got the power of the prescription and then they've got the gang activity. >> essentially they were flooding the market with opioids and selling them at a marked up price. >> what a bombshell. this straight-laced doctor that everyone had respected was part of a pill mill, a drug ring. not only that, with the pagan outlaw motorcycle gang, the and april kauffman found out -- >> reporter: found out and according to tyner threatened to expose his secret seedy double life. >> he started thinking about ways to engage his exit strategy you might say.
>> reporter: to get rid of her? >> to get rid of her. >> for the past five and a half years, ever since april kauffman was found shot to death, there's been little movement on this case and no arrests had been made in connection with the murder. that is until today. >> reporter: an explosive breakthrough in the murder of radio host april kauffman. >> reporter: murder charges against april kauffman's husband dr. james kauffman and >> reporter: but didn't the doctor have an airtight alibi? but remember that early morning stop at a convenience store? tyner says dr. kauffman wasn't the shooter that he paid one of those pagans roughly $20,000 to do his dirty work and kill his wife. >> he went inside, and he shot april kauffman twice. >> reporter: and ironically -- that alleged hit man died a year and a half after april's murder of an opiate overdose. his pills?
prescribed by, you guessed it, dr. jim kauffman. >> when i heard the details of everything, it really, really was unbelievable. i feel like this is the worst made for tv movie on the planet. >> reporter: the prosecutor worries kauffman could be targeted by pagan members in jail. so they move him upstate to the hudson county correctional facility as they begin gearing up for their first major trial. finally a chance to close one of those atlantic county cold cases. and then another shocking turn. >> reporter: dr. james kauffman dead. officials confirm he died at 9:20 this morning. >> reporter: what was your reaction when you heard this? >> i was stunned. >> the story started off terrible and is ending terrible. >> reporter: dr. jim kauffman is dead. but how? >> were you worried that he could be hurt in prison?
>> that's always a concern. >> reporter: will justice ever be served? stay with us. stening to what matters most to you. and we're committed to improving every ride. starting with features designed to make it easy for your driver to find you... taking the stress out of pickups. ♪ we're putting safety at the heart of everything we do... by making it easy to verify your car, and driver. uber has new leadership, a new vision, and is moving in a new direction... forward and we got to know the friends of our friends.r the friends. then our old friends from middle school, our mom, our ex and our boss joined forces to wish us happy birthday. then we discovered our uncle use to play in a band. and realized he was young once too. and we found others just like us.
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>> reporter: it's been a long, strange trip for dr. jim kauffman. from a plush suburban cul de sac, to the hudson county jail. his new home, a 6x9 foot cell like this. >> this is unit -- >> this is charlie 500 east. >> maximum security. >> reporter: the inmates, many considered violent and dangerous, were dr. kauffman's new neighbors. as he awaited his trial in a facility just across the river from new york city.
>> what kind of crimes? >> you're talking murder. >> reporter: it's rare to get a look inside these tight quarters. unless you're an inmate. but corrections officers agreed to take us in, recalling that fateful morning. just after serving dr. kauffman breakfast, they made a grim discovery. the doctor was dead, hanging himself with a laundry cord. >> i was stunned. but that's in retrospect, that's what convinces me now more than ever that he understood that the end was near. >> he realized it had all caught up with him. >> yes. i think so. >> bottom line, he had his wife murdered and the only way out for him was suicide. >> reporter: kauffman did leave something behind in that jail cell. this note obtained by "20/20." >> even in that jail cell when he killed himself, he had to write this very lengthy suicide note to be in control at the very end, to get the last word. >> reporter: kauffman adamant
that he didn't kill april. >> i cannot live like this. i, no matter what anybody says, did not do anything to my wife. >> this six-page suicide note is bizarre. >> throughout the note, he quotes latin including phrases that roman gladiators would say to the emperor before they fought in the colosseum. really? >> reporter: his final words do add a suprisingly new angle to the sordid saga. >> april came to me and said would i like to go to a motorcycle rally to meet some of her friends. i was slightly shocked to say the least that they had the colors of pagans. >> most important thing that jim kauffman wants people to take away from this note is, "i didn't kill april. she introduced me to this outlaw gang. i was prescribing pills. they then got aggressive with me.
they then started threatening me and they're the ones who killed april." >> were you able to determine whether april had any involvement with either the gang or the pill mill? >> our investigation at the time did not lead us to believe that she had any involvement. i believe that at some point she became aware of it and i think ultimately that's the reason why she was killed. >> reporter: but dead men tell no tales, at least not in court. and with both that alleged hitman and jim kauffman deceased, tyner's last call for justice rests with the case he's building against the accused pagan ring-leader, who he believes conspired with kauffman to kill april. he's pled not guilty. >> there's an aspect of the investigation that's continuing with a defendant who is still pending trial. th parof tabou invtigation, but suffice it to say that we were convinced that jim
kaufman's involvement in this matter was enough to charge him with conspiracy to commit murder. >> is there any doubt in your mind that her husband wanted her dead? >> there's no doubt in my mind. >> reporter: a painful conclusion for a grieving daughter, yet a measure of solace. kim pack may finally find the justice she's been seeking for years. >> why do you think this case wasn't solved six years ago? >> i don't know. that's the million dollar question. but what i do know is that i was blessed and granted the ability to have peace in my life for the first time in six years by a man with determination and that believed in my story. and that is damon tynar, and i am forever grateful to that man. >> reporter: although in a tale as twisted and tragic as this there is hardly any true closure. >> and that's the saddest part of this entire story. her mom's still not coming back. and when everything's quiet and
it's just kim and she's alone and she's thinking, her best friend is gone. >> we were robbed. and for what? i still don't have the answer to that. for what? >> reporter: when we come back, one of those precious kauffman family heirlooms, you made moonshine in a backwoods still. smuggled booze and dodged the law. even when they brought you in, they could never hold you down. when i built my family tree and found you, i found my sense of adventure. i set off on a new life, a million miles away. i'm heidi choiniere, and this is my ancestry story. now with over 10 billion historical records, discover your story. get started for free at ancestry.com
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>> reporter: kim doesn't just resemble her mom. she's inherited the same passion that made april kauffman so beloved. >> she's like a pit bull. she latches on and she's not letting go till she gets what she's looking for. she's a mini april. >> there's been dark days, very dark days where i just didn't know how i was going to do this. but i knew that i needed to stand up. i knew that this story needed to be told. >> reporter: but in that darkness, something special happened. remember when jim sold off all of april's belongings? turns out lee darby and peg o'boyle, dubbing themselves april's angels swooped in.
>> these women got together and they were on the phone calling people, raising money, to be able to buy back things that belonged to my mother. >> so, that's how you got the last remnants of your mom's things? >> they came to my house directly after the auction so excited. and my mom collected these little limoge things and this was the first item that i touched, inside this note of the first item that i touched from the auction it says, to kimberly, from mom. whenever you look at this, you know you are always loved. you're so special. best wishes for the rest of your life. >> and you had no idea that note was there? >> no, and i feel like this was meant to be. i feel like i was meant to have this. so, i keep this by my bed and it reminds me that my mom is with me all the time. >> reporter: out and about in the community there are other reminders. >> my husband and my boys got this bench dedicated for her. it's special because it's a spot that we stop and my kids will bring up a memory or they will talk about her. and if mom could say one more thing to her daughter?
>> i think she would say to me now, "you can breathe. you can go on and live. you don't have to be sad anymore. and thank you for fighting." >> a fighter to the finish. remember kim pack's civil case to get her mother's life insurance. >> we can report her attorney said that's been amicably settled with kauffman's widow. that's "20/20" for tonight. i'm david muir. >> i'm amy robach. for everyone here at "20/20," good night.
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